❝There are many reasons people will come up with, when asked why they don’t bike; when people ask me why in the world they would, they’re asking for trouble because I could talk for hours about why I mountain bike, and why they should consider biking too. But if I had to narrow it down, I’d say: it is good for you; it will help you be and feel better; if you stick with it, you will become your best and feel that way too. Good enough for me!❞
– Coach Boris
Our bikes take us to beautiful places and adventures.
Hiking does too, but biking is usually faster! It’s not even just the scenery. Everything around us was silent. That sort of beauty and serenity is something you can only find when you escape to bike or hiking trails.
Sometimes adults get so giddy over the fact that they are riding a bike, you’ll hear them exclaim “I feel like a kid again!” That’s a good thing.
Most of us start mountain biking because it’s fun. Hitting the trail is a satisfying way to get outside, hang with friends, challenge your mind, and enjoy nature. Biking is a great way to stay in shape. It provides a combination of high and medium to low intensity cardio workouts, allows you to build muscle, and works your core and arms too; biking is a total-body workout.
Aside from more obvious advantages there exists a major internal benefit–it strengthens your heart; it lowers blood pressure; it promotes vascular health, it increases longevity. It helps them gain clarity and focus so they can put their energy to use and do better in school.
It doesn’t matter what type of mountain biking you do or how well you do it. Spending time on the bike TODAY, and making it a habitual part of your lifestyle, doing something you love will promote health and longevity on the inside
Children that ride can develop skills associated with decision making, risk, and safety.
Mountain biking teaches kids how to deal with challenges. Remember your first time on a mountain bike? Getting familiar with the feel of the bike, how and when to shift, brake, where to look down the trail – all the important “first steps” integral to building an enjoyable experience.
Children learn how to focus on what’s essential as their surroundings whiz by, an indispensable skill not only in mountain biking, but in school, too. Kids learn the importance of trail etiquette and how to be a part of a team. Courtesy and the appreciation of others are skills they can take away from the sport and apply throughout all facets of their lives – in the classroom, at home and in public.
Cycling is a life-long sport. It’s not just a sport that’s done during high school.
Most kids grow up riding bikes and then somewhere along the way, adults either stop biking, or pick it up again when they are reminded of how awesome it is to pedal on two wheels through the forest. The best part of mountain biking is that you can do it with family, friends, teammates… or solo. Exploring the woods and trails in my backyard are some of the most enjoyable experiences in my life today. I’d wager that kids riding bikes on throughout the country and the world would say the same thing.
When you’re biking, and you’re focused on the ride, there is no room in your brain to think about ordinary life issues. Biking is an escape from all that. Your brain is cleansing, recovering and recharging; you are regaining focus and clarity. When you’re on the bike, the bike and the ride are all that you think about. THAT is often reason enough to get out there and ride.
Many kids getting involved with a mountain biking program don’t have much, or any, experience with trail riding, or mountain bike racing. As soon as they begin to learn new skills, feel improvement in their performance, and hear words of encouragement from coaches and teammates, a more confident kid may begin to emerge.
Feeling good about yourself contributes to higher self-worth and self-esteem. Some MTB riders may even start to shed a few extra pounds and start making better food choices as a result of increased physical activity.
Mountain biking brings many friends into your life
The kids you are on a team with, or in a club with, are the kids you won’t likely forget, and they often become lifelong friends. You share a lot of experiences together, good and bad. There’s a sense of built-in camaraderie among them; there is a sense of belonging to something that bonds them, makes them united and feel like a family, community, a tribe; these are strong, instinctive responses; and there is a reason for that. Sharing a common interest pulls people together.
They’ll inherit the freedom associated with the acceptance of imperfection, making mistakes in front of others, learning how to stand up, accept small moments of defeat, dust off their shorts, and move forward. When riding with friends, they see their peers go through similar challenges and learn how to lend a helping hand. Smiles all around!
Mountain biking always presents opportunities to learn and grow
There are always new ledges to make it up, drops to conquer, hills to climb faster, and descents to speed down. Every time I ride I set a new goal: make this drop, ride that ledge, PR on the Phone Booth… if you’re someone who enjoys a challenge, then mountain biking is the sport for you. Of course, the main goal should always be to have fun.
Digging and rooting around in the woods is good for your heart and soul too!
Getting kids out on the trail weeding, pulling, hauling, and digging has long-lasting benefits for everyone—the trails and land managers who need the help, the kids who gain respect for the work, and the resulting camaraderie. The passion for and love of the outdoors that is being fostered by youth mountain bike clubs and teams nationwide may in fact be the key to turning back the disheartening trend of trail closures and restrictions. Today’s teens are tomorrow’s council members, senators, and land managers. Cutting their teeth with our mountain bike programs will benefit us all.
Cycling is a life-long sport. It’s not just a sport that’s done during high school.
Upon hearing about NICA high school mountain biking, so many people have responded, “I wish they had that when I was in high school!”
We are in the business of creating the next generation of cyclists, and racing is exciting part of it. Besides all the obvious and universal sports upsides like learning teamwork, making friends, and gaining self-discipline and confidence, the mountain biking experience is unique because of its inclusiveness.
Every student on the team gets to race at every event, if they want to. There’s no sitting on the bench if you’re not as good as someone else. You are not trying to “beat them out” for a starting position on the team. There’s no waiting for the offense or defense to get off the field so you can have your chance to play.
Students are genuinely cheering for their fellow teammates because every single race finisher earns points for their team. After warming up together, each student competes in their race and then happily cheers on teammates.
There’s nothing like a positive role model to help encourage and properly guide you through an endeavor. The coaches who sign up to lead these mountain biking programs have a required training and certification framework, but they also need good people skills and a love of the sport. For some coaches, it goes beyond the sport.
They coach because mountain biking is more than just a sport to them–it’s a lifestyle that has broadened their horizons, connected them with like-minded people, brought volumes of adventure, provided rejuvenating time in nature. . .and has helped keep them fit and healthy.
Youth are the future of mountain biking: advocates, trail builders, racers, coaches, commuters, and casual riders. Those coaches live mountain biking and let the kids watch and learn; it does not get much better.
They are grateful and feel blessed they discovered the sport and want to help give back and pass all of this along to the younger generations now, while also helping to build up a relatively-new high school sport which kids can continue enjoying for many decades after their school years.
Mountain biking will instill kids with a healthy sense of adventure. Immerse them among the trees and mountains. Let them feel the wind and experience things they can’t get from video games and television. Currently, we are looking toward a future where the status of our promised lands, parks, and natural environment is in question. What better way to pay it forward than to raise your children with an appreciation for the outdoors – nurture those who will inevitably nurture nature?
So the next time someone asks why you mountain bike, I think the better question might be, why DON’T they!